Disinfo: Legendary scout, hero of Russia, saved the Polish city of Kraków

Summary

Legendary scout, a hero of Russia, Alexey Botian during the World War II commanded a sabotage group in the Polish rear. He managed to save the city of Kraków [Cracow] in Poland. His group blew up the castle, which the Nazis turned into an ammunition depot. Botian made a major contribution to saving Krakow from destruction by the German invaders.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and promotes a fake story about the "heroic saving of the city of Kraków from Nazi destruction by the Red Army".

For decades, the Soviet authorities have spread a story about the heroic role of the Red Army in the saving of Kraków Old Town from being blown up by retreating Nazi troops. Polish historians have established the narrative of the Nazis, preparing to blow up Kraków as a post-war myth aimed at the glorification of the Red Army among the Poles. Famous Soviet television film "Major Whirlwind" (1967) came to support this propaganda.

See similar case that the Red Army saved Kraków from destruction by Nazis, and other examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning Poland such as It is thanks to Russia that Poland today exists as a countryNazi Germany considered Poland its best ally, the USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Germany, Poland
  • Keywords: Red Army, Historical revisionism, WWII, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Sputnik Armenia
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Ukraine forbids 40% of the people to speak Russian

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine and discrimination against Russian speakers.

According to the latest survey, 27% of Ukrainian citizens use the Russian language in their everyday communication; the Ukrainian language is preferred by 51% of Ukrainians and 21% are bilingual.

The US wants to destroy Belarusian economy and statehood

The US’s global goal is to build a unipolar world, and its goal towards Belarus is torpedoing integration in the post-Soviet space and of the Union State between Belarus and Russia. While nominally the US promised to deliver oil to Belarus, in reality, it is pushing Belarus to destroy its national economy. Instead of building a less dependent economy on Russia, Belarus can only become a totally dependent country on the West, without economy and statehood.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory which is consistent with recurring Belarus-related pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about West's aggressiveness towards Belarus and its attempts to disrupt Belarusian-Russian relations. This message is based on a false dilemma about the direction of Belarus's political and economic development (successful union with Russia vs. ruined economy and lost statehood).

See similar propagandistic false dilemmas for Belarus: union with Russia vs. no future, normal development under Russia vs. forced Polonization and economic devastation, turning into a Russian western federal area vs. descent into Nazism. See also earlier disinformation cases claiming that the EU wants Belarus to lose its independence and is trying to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations.

The conflict in Donbas is an internal Ukrainian problem

For Donbas, this is an internal Ukrainian problem, and we [Russia] are doing everything we can to contribute to its solution.

Disproof

One of the most common disinformation narratives claiming that Russia has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. See a similar case denying Russia’s involvement in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

The European Union stated in July 2014 that "arms and fighters continue flowing into Ukraine from the Russian Federation". At the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014 and at successive summits since then, NATO leaders condemned Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine in the strongest terms and demanded that Russia stop and withdraw its forces from Ukraine and along the country’s border. NATO leaders also demanded that Russia complies with international law and its international obligations and responsibilities; end its illegitimate occupation of Crimea; refrain from aggressive actions against Ukraine; halt the flow of weapons, equipment, people and money across the border to the separatists; and stop fomenting tension along and across the Ukrainian border.